Richard Cohen has a good editorial in the Washington Post today. Bush, Safely in Denial
Constant anxiety is safety, so says our fearless leader Prances in Flightsuit.
Boston is agog about the ridiculous "safety" precautions being taken for the Democratic Convention. They are shutting down the main drag through Boston, Route 93, in the afternoons and evenings, for 20 miles north and south of the city. So people were told to take the T. (T is our abbreviation for the public transportation agency, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, shortened to MBTA, but like all things Boston, shortened even further to "T".) But now you can't take anything larger than a purse the size of a sandwich on the T. What if your job requires you to carry something larger than that, like tools? Tough nuggies. And you can't take a bike on the T, unless it is one of those hugely expensive ones that breaks down into component parts. A regular bike that someone might really own, not allowed.
I'm not sure if this is just an over-reaction to the Tom Ridge terrorism warnings, or just the small town version of security. I've found that the further you are from New York City (where most of the death & destruction of 9/11 actually happened) the more stringent the security precautions. I've spent a lot of time in NYC since 9/11. New Yorkers understand that everyone is not a threat. At Madison Square Garden, for example, you can bring a backpack. You have to open it up for inspection, but once they get to know you the inspection is pretty cursory. & why shouldn't it be? A 47 year old lawyer? I'm a threat to America? Of course not. But in Boston, and Baltimore, and Fort Wayne Indiana, backpacks are not allowed in sporting events. (Because the 9/11 terrorists used backpacks, right? No, they used briefcases. They don't allow backpacks because that means you are a 60s liberal, the most dangerous of all Americans. You might be bringing in dangerous ideas, like free speech, dissent, tolerance, equality, right? So backpacks are banned all over America. Get it?)
War is peace, and Oceania is always at war with Eurasia.